Indeed, it’s time for the season to kick off this Saturday as we head to Goodison Park for what should be a mouthwatering encounter with a very self believing Everton side.
As Arsene mentioned yesterday, there will be no new signings before the opening game of the season and now we’ll have to think who will play and how we will play. We’ve been running with a 4-3-3 pre-season and it has its merits and it’s pitfalls. Personally, I’m not a fan of the 4-3-3 because it reminds me too much of a 4-5-1 and in the games against various teams in pre-season, it has been such. I’m a fan of a 4-4-2 with two strikers playing at all times.
The 4-3-3 has it merits as it allows us to accommodate two “inside forwards” such as Arshavin and Walcott. Additionally, it allows our midfield to be more dominating. However, I don’t think we’ve really lacked in our dominating of midfield, more over, we have lacked in our defensively stability and inability to put the ball in the back of the net. A player like Arshavin may thrive in a 4-3-3, but the same player may also thrive in a 4-4-2 as one of the strikers or a left winger. Where I see some positives, I also see some negatives. In my ideal Arsenal team, I don’t see play 3 midfielders such as Cesc, Denilson, Song is every game will benefit us long term. I really think playing two out of the five available to us (if you include Ramsey and Diaby) will be suitable.
I think playing four attacking players is all about what Arsenal are, have been and should be in the future. And I see these attacking players as a way of life, a way of playing our game. Whether the attacking players are deployed in a 4-3-3 or a 4-4-2, I do not mind, but we must not reduce our attack to three players.
Let me explain a bit more about what I’m trying to get to. Arshavin, Van Persie, Bendtner, Eduardo, Walcott, Vela, Rosicky and Nasri are attacking players. As much as Arsene would have us believe, Cesc Fabregas is not an attacking player, is is a midfielder. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying he doesn’t get forward. But an attacking player in my eyes is a player who is comfortable in the final third positionally, a player who can either play on the wings or up front. And the same goes for Diaby – he is not an attacking player in the sense of a formation. Yes, both players can get forward but they should not be considered for striker or “in the hole” roles. So when we fielded Arshavin, Van Persie and Bendtner against Valencia, we were less attacking than we should have been – mainly because we had Diaby, Cesc and Denilson behind them.
Arsene, if you want, play 4-3-3, 4-4-2, or even 4-5-1, but at least have 4 players on the pitch who go forward. My view is that